The blue bomber returns to his element once again in Capcom’s retro throwback title Mega Man 10, the second game modeled after the series original 8-bit roots. Mega Man 10 offers some new features to the formula including an easy mode to make the game more accessible to the easily frustrated and the ability to play through the game as Proto Man from the start, but does this manage to keep the game fresh or is the nostalgia starting to wear thin?
On the narrative front its best to keep expectations low. Mega Man’s strengths do not lie in the plot. This time around a robot targeting viral epidemic is causing the robots of the world to go hay wire, prompting Mega Man to step forward and face the eight robot masters that stand between him and the means for a cure. Its your typical Mega Man story thru and thru and it does well enough to keep Mega Man going about the usual business, and quite frankly, thats all it needs to do.
Following in the retro design of 2008’s Mega Man 9 Capcom has once again restored the blue bomber to his 8-bit roots. The game has no trouble fitting the part of its predecessors and, depending on how you look at it, thats a good thing. This is the classic Mega Man we grew up with and I personally wouldn’t have it any other way. The games sound track is a varied medley of catchy tunes you may accidentally find your self humming on occasion, however it fails to rise to the same level of some of the series best.
Mega Man’s gameplay maintains the standard for 2D platformers. Your reflexes will be tested as you navigate the cleverly designed stages in the game. While Mega Man 9 openly celebrated the difficulty of the original games this iteration tones it down a notch. Don’t be mistaken, Mega Man 10 is a hard game. Between the enemies unpredictable attacks, spikey pitfalls, and instances where precise timing will mean the difference between progressing forward or falling to your death, the game can be anything but a cake walk at times. Taking a leaf from Mega Man 2 Capcom has made the game more accessible by adding an easy mode which can lower the difficulty enough to make the game more accessible to anyone who can’t hack the game’s normal difficulty setting. Capcom has also thrown in a hard mode setting for the hardcore fans who enjoy a little bit of punishment.
As always, once you have conquered a robot master you will recieve their thematic weapon. The usual variety of flame, water, and defense based weapons carry over in different variations here. The weapons themselves have some unique characteristics, but their utility will seldom go beyond taking down the corresponding robot master thats weak to them. They may come in handy to deal with difficult enemy placements near risky jumps but don’t expect a substitute to your mega buster (sorry, no metal blade here Mega Man 2 fans)
Capcom has also added the ability to cycle between weapons on the fly using the A and B buttons, which lends itself as a welcome addition to quickly switch between weapons when the situation calls though, be aware, you may inadvertently switch weapons in the heat of the moment.
From the start you have the choice whether to play through the game as Mega Man or Proto Man and there are key differences between the two. Mega Man plays just as he always has sans the ability to charge up his buster shot or perform a slide like he could in earlier games. These abilities now belong to Proto Man which, in addition to being able to block incoming projectiles with his shield mid jump and smaller amount of hits he can take, give a distinct difference in gameplay between the two characters. Its nice to have this option available from the start than recieve it later as DLC.
Though the overall package can seem simple at first glance there is a ton of content that ramps up the games replay value. Aside from a harder difficulty setting unlocked after completing the game on normal difficulty, there are a ton of challenges to keep the completionist busy ranging from the simple “beat the game” achievments to the seemingly impossible “Mr. Perfect” which requires you to beat the game without taking any damage.
Other additions that add value include a time attack mode where you can race to defeat a robot master and have your times posted on a leader board to compare with other players. There is also an option available for DLC which should release later this year. Between the challenges, various difficulty settings, and characters you can play with, Mega Man 10 is loaded for its price tag of only $10.
how we score
Mega Man 10 delivers the same satisfaction as Capcom’s 2008 retro throwback. Between new features to make the game more accessible, classic gameplay, and more content than you can shake a buster cannon at, Mega Man 10 is a good addition to the series and falls nicely in place with it’s 8-bit predecessors of the NES days of yore.